After testing positive the coronavirus, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says that testing for the virus needs to be vastly expanded across the country.
In a statement on Monday, Paul said, “I believe we need more testing immediately, even among those without symptoms. The nature of COVID-19 put me – and us all – in a Catch-22 situation. “
He added that it “makes no sense” that Americans who are exhibiting flu-like symptoms are, in some cases, unable to get testing.
“Perhaps it is too much to ask that we simply have compassion for our fellow Americans who are sick or fearful of becoming so. Thousands of people want testing. Many, like David Newman of The Walking Dead, are sick with flu symptoms and are being denied testing. This makes no sense.”
Paul’s statement comes just a day after his office announced that the senator had tested positive for the virus, as IJR previously reported.
News that Paul had tested positive for the virus sent shockwaves through the Senate as reports said that he had attended Senate lunches and went to the gym while waiting for the results to come back.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) ripped into Paul’s decision not to isolate himself in the time between taking the test and receiving the results.
“I’ve never commented about a fellow Senator’s choices/actions. Never once. This, America, is absolutely irresponsible. You cannot be near other people while waiting for coronavirus test results. It endangers others [and] likely increases the spread of the virus.”
I’ve never commented about a fellow Senator’s choices/actions. Never once.— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) March 22, 2020
This, America, is absolutely irresponsible. You cannot be near other people while waiting for coronavirus test results. It endangers others & likely increases the spread of the virus. https://t.co/651TJf8mWf
But, Paul defended his actions, noting that he did not get tested because he was exhibiting symptoms and said that he had not come in contact with anyone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Kentucky senator said that he was asymptomatic, but took the test “out of concern for my damaged lung,” and noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines “would not have called for me to get tested nor quarantined.”
“I didn’t fit the criteria for testing or quarantine. I had no symptoms and no specific encounter with a COVID-19 positive person.
News of Paul’s diagnosis led several Republican senators to self-quarantine, noting that they had contact with him in recent days.